By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK"Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life." So said CNN commentator Hilary Rosen in a discussion on Anderson Cooper 360 about Ann Romney's decision to stay at home and raise their family's five boys. All political opinions aside, this was a cruel thing for one mother to say to another. Unfortunately, this is not the first time a "career" woman has said something snide about "just being a mom", although this may be the most public recent volley in the Mom Wars.
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As a woman who has been a full-time professional without kids, a full-time professional with kids, a stay-at-home mom and now a full-time work-from-home professional who also stays at home with my kids (and everything in between), I feel qualified to say: This is stupid. All of it. How is this debate not dead yet?
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For myself-and I think most moms would agree with me-I've never worked harder in my life than since I've had children. How much of that work has been done inside and outside the home has varied but the overall crushing workload has remained constant. Kids are a lot of work. Being a mom is a lot of responsibility. And it never stops, whether you're in the board room or the bathroom (I don't think I've peed alone in ten years). For her part, Romney responded with a terse tweet: "I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work."
Perhaps Rosen was trying to say that Ann Romney hasn't worked professionally in the workplace before. Or maybe she was just saying that being the wife of a gazillionaire means that she can't relate to middle- and lower- class parenting issues. All of which are good talking points. I'm not a political commentator, and I'll leave those issues to people much smarter than I am. But I can speak to what I do know: Every mom works every single day of her life. We may all do different types of work, but all of our roles are equally valuable.
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We women do ourselves no favors by judging each other. We're all doing the best we can with the cards we've been dealt. It's 2012; who works harder should be a non-issue.
What do you think about Hilary Rosen's comments?
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